If you have hepatitis A, a lawyer can help you get compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages.
Our lawyers help people sue restaurants, food companies and drug companies who sell products contaminated with the virus. They have won millions for their clients. Attorneys Fred Pritzker, Brendan Flaherty, and Ryan Osterholm are our lead lawyers for our hepatitis A lawsuits. You can contact them using our free consultation form.
For more information, read “Can I Sue a Restaurant for Food Poisoning?”
What is Hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A, a liver disease, is caused by an infection from the hepatitis A virus. However, not everyone who is infected with the virus will have symptoms of the illness. In most cases, the illness is characterized by mild, flu-like gastrointestinal symptoms. At its worst, it can impair proper functioning of the liver and even lead to death.
A virus is a collection of molecules that uses the body’s method of constructing new material to produce copies of itself. As is the case with other viruses, when the virus uses a human host to reproduce itself, the human host often becomes ill in the effort to fight the virus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each year in the United States an estimated 143,000 cases of hepatitis A infection occur, but only around 30,000 are reported. It is also responsible for an estimated 1.4 million cases worldwide each year.
For more information, please see the following:
How is It Spread?
The hepatitis A virus is spread from person to person by “fecal-oral” transmission. This means the virus is transmitted when a person puts something in his/her mouth that has been contaminated with the stool of a person infected with the virus. Because this virus depends on the fecal-oral route for transmission, the illness is most easily spread under poor sanitary conditions or when good personal hygiene is not observed.
Outbreaks are often traced back to contaminated food. Food supplies can become contaminated when infected workers come into contact with food supplies during processing or in restaurants.
The foods most commonly associated with outbreaks are water, shellfish, and salads. In most cases, the true source is water that has been contaminated with the feces of an infected person. Other common sources are: cold cuts, pre-made sandwiches, unwashed fruit, fruit juices, milk products, vegetables, salads, shellfish, and iced drinks.
Most people who become infected return to normal health. Although the illness is more common in children, it is often more severe in adults. More than one-fifth of adult hepatitis A patients require hospitalization. In severe cases, this virus can cause inflammation and swelling of the liver. This can impair liver function and cause permanent damage to the liver. Most of these cases require hospitalization. Each year approximately 100 people die as a result of these infections in the U.S.
How Can a Hepatitis A Lawyer Get Me Compensation?
Once you hire a lawyer to represent you, he or she will begin:
- gathering the evidence needed to connect your illness to a specific food product or location;
- interviewing you and others regarding how you contracted the illness and how it adversely affected your life;
- once there is enough evidence, send a demand letter (asks for a specific amount of money) to the company or companies responsible, for example, the food processor that sold products contaminated with hepatitis A;
- negotiate with attorneys representing the company, by phone, email and face-to-face;
- if settlement negotiations fail, take your case to court (a trial).
Our law firm is investigating a lawsuit against Tropical Smoothie Cafe for people who are part of the 2016 outbreak linked to frozen strawberries. At least 70 people from 7 states have been sickened: Maryland (6), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Oregon (1), Virginia (55), West Virginia (5), and Wisconsin (1). The company imported these strawberries from Egypt. Attorneys Ryan Osterholm and Brendan Flaherty are representing a number of people sickened in this outbreak.
The FDA released a startling article about the imported Egyptian strawberries that were recalled for contamination after the Tropical Smoothie Cafe outbreak this summer. The strawberries were sold to schools, restaurants, and institutions around the country.
Genki Sushi restaurants are a possible source of the 2016 outbreak in Hawaii that has sickened over 160 people. Restaurants on Oahu and Kauai have been temporarily closed on order from the State of Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH). After months of investigation, HDOH has determined that source of the outbreak is most likely imported, frozen scallops served at the restaurant.
The CDC issued its final report on the 2013 outbreak linked to Townsend Farms berries sold at certain Costco stores. 162 people in 10 states were sickened: Arizona (23), California (79), Colorado (28), Hawaii (8), New Hampshire (1), New Jersey (1), New Mexico (11), Nevada (6), Utah (3), and Wisconsin (2).
Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to sue Costco for hepatitis A food poisoning from frozen berries. The first victims became ill on April 29, 2013, and the most recent on May 21, 2013.